Columbia cops arrest state representative on DUI, weapons possession charges

Columbia police officers arrested a state representative Thursday for driving under the influence of alcohol and the unlawful carrying of a pistol after he was stopped for speeding.

S.C. Rep. Ted Vick, D-Chesterfield, was released from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on personal recognizance bonds for the charges and given a ticket for speeding.

Vick, 39, has been in the House since 2005 and was considered the frontrunner as one of several candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for South Carolina’s new 7th congressional seat. That primary is June 12.

His future in the race is not clear. In a statement he said, “I very much regret any embarrassment I’ve caused for my family, friends and supporters. My family comes first to me and I’m going to spend time with them and consult with my pastor. Politics will have to wait.”

Vick was stopped at 1:12 a.m. Thursday on Devine Street for driving 44 mph in a 30-mph zone, according to a Columbia Police Department report. The officer smelled alcohol, but Vick refused to take a field sobriety test or a breath test, the report said.

At the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, a jail officer discovered a Kel-Tec .380-caliber pistol in Vick’s front pocket. He had not told the police that he was carrying a gun, and a concealed weapons permit in his wallet expired in 2007, the report said.

A 21-year-old woman who recently graduated from USC was in Vick’s car, but is not facing charges.

According to the report, the two had met at Delaney’s Pub in Five Points, where they had a few drinks then continued drinking at Jake’s Bar and Grill. Vick offered to give her a ride home, the report said.

Vick’s attorney, Pete Strom, reiterated that Vick was merely giving the girl a ride home. Vick will not automatically be suspended from the Legislature because the charges are misdemeanors, Strom said.

Vick is married with two daughters and is a lieutenant colonel in the S.C. Army National Guard and a minister, according to his campaign website.

Col. Pete Brooks, a spokesman for the S.C. National Guard, said the arrest would not have an immediate impact on Vick’s military career because it did not have a connection to his service and he was not on duty when it happened.

“It all depends on what the civilian authorities wind up doing,” Brooks said.

Vick has no prior arrests, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.

He is not the first hopeful running for the seat to face legal troubles. Former S.C. Rep. Thad Viers, R-Horry, dropped out of the race and resigned his state House of Representatives seat after he was arrested and indicted on harassment charges in March. Viers is accused of harassing an ex-girlfriend in Myrtle Beach.